5 Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Knives as Sharp as Possible

Even the best knives in the world are useless if they lose their sharpness. And considering that knives are any chef's best friend in the kitchen, the importance of keeping them in optimal working condition is paramount. Not only...

Even the best knives in the world are useless if they lose their sharpness. And considering that knives are any chef's best friend in the kitchen, the importance of keeping them in optimal working condition is paramount. Not only that, but failure to properly care for your knives can shorten their life expectancy and lower your ROI. The good news is that keeping your kitchen knives sharp is fairly simple -- particularly if you keep these five tips in mind.

1. Invest in the Right Tools

Investing in high-quality kitchen knives is only part of the equation. It's also essential to invest in the tools designed to keep them in proper working condition. Honing rods (AKA sharpening stones) and whetstones (AKA diamond or sharpening stones) keep knife blades aligned, sharp and ready for use.

2. Hone Your Skills

As with most things in life, the more you practice your knife sharpening skills, the better you'll become. While maintaining the same angle in order to achieve an accurate tip and straight blade is challenging, your knife sharpening skills will improve with time and effort.

Speaking of proper techniques, kitchen knives exists for a singular purpose: cutting food. If you're using a kitchen knife for other tasks, such as for clipping wire or as a substitute screwdriver, you're not only using it wrong, but you're risking destroying the blade.

3. Work on Proper Surfaces

Maintaining sharp knives isn't just a matter of sharpening them when they grow dull, several proactive measures can also help you safeguard their condition.

Cutting on hard or metal surfaces, for example, can detrimentally affect your knives, so avoid aluminum, granite, marble, stainless steel and glass cutting surfaces. Softer polyethylene, plastic, and wood, however, are more appropriate because they are more forgiving to blades.

4. Skip the Dishwasher

Dishwashers are phenomenal time-saving devices, but if you're tossing your knives in your machine, you're exposing them to several dulling factors, including high heat, a barrage of water, harsh detergent, and contact with other utensils and cookware.

The best way to wash your knives? By hand in the sink with warm soapy water. Resist soaking them and always take time to thoroughly dry your knives with a soft cloth afterward to avoid rust, scratches, and other blemishes.

5. Store Smarter

Your knives belong in an entirely different category than other kitchen utensils. They also belong in a different storage spot.

Knife blocks are the ideal way to store knives while keeping them handy, but in a pinch a dedicated knife drawer will suffice. (Although this does increase the risk of cutting accidents when hands wander unsuspectingly into knife drawers.)

If you use your knives with great frequency, meanwhile you might want to emulate the magnetic boards used in many commercial kitchens which offer immediate, grab-and-go access.

Kitchen knives
He doesn't use dull knives. You shouldn't either.

The truth is that there's no secret to keeping kitchen knives sharp. However, prioritizing their care and maintenance through proper sharpening, knife work, cleaning and storage techniques can help ensure that you'll be cooking with them for years to come. Browse kitchen knives, sharpening tools and everything the gourmet home chef needs at Cilantro The Cooks Shop today.